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Untitled visit from a friend

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1 Untitled visit from a friend on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:59 pm

uno

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"She is not a dog!"
"Horses are not pets!"
"That will not be so cute when she weighs 1000 pounds!"
All this and more was muttered or shouted at me by Horse Daughter as I kissed and cuddled and handled and mauled my little horse, Chevy. Over the two years I had her yes she was a pet, in her own mind mostly a dog and since she never would have reached 1000 pounds, yes it was still cute.

When Chevy broke her neck and died I think something in me turned to stone. I looked at her for a long time. Looked because I could not accept that she was dead. Well, I could. I could accept that she was dead if I believed it. But I didn't believe it. I thought it was a trick of my eyes. That if I just watched long enough and willed hard enough that she would get up. Just get up. Chevy, just get up.

I huddled behind the horse shelter, glimpsing in shaking peeks, as the neighbour put chains on her legs and skidded her up the driveway with his backhoe. What do you say, Thank you...oh good god please don't put chains on my horse and drag her body like that! Stop! You're hurting her! Thank you neighbour for doing this even though I hate it.

I covered her with a sheet. A white sheet. It billowed down over her little body. Move, I thought, move. But the sheet billowed down.

SHe sepnt the night covered by the sheet. Early the next morning, still dark, I walked up the quiet driveway to that looming white sheet and crouched to cut a hunk of mane. I put it in an elastic like a ponytail. A pony's tale.  I did not touch her. Didn't want to feel the cold and hard where warm and soft had been my life with Chevy, whom I kissed every single day. Kissed her peach soft nose.

Bless the man in the truck who, even though he thought I wasn't watching, acted with such civility and respect. He gently pulled off the sheet. Gently put straps on her legs. Lifted her into the back of his truck. Thank god tears blurred the droop of her head as she disappeared into the box. With the sound of a diesel motor as background, he picked up the sheet and folded it. Folded it into a square, and set it on the edge of the driveway. He left with Chevy.

That sheet has been a crumpled ball on the steps outside the tack shed  since then. I tossed it on the steps. I didn't want to touch it. That was the beginning of May. And now, end of July, I brought it in to finally wash it.  To wash away Chevy.

In this hot weather, I hung the sheet over the deck rail to dry.

The next morning I had let the ducks and geese out for their morning snack. They wander on the small grassy area below the house. I sit under the deck in a lawn chair, shaded by the cedar boards above my head. The sheet was above us, slightly off to the left. An unexpected breeze came up as I was sitting there, thinking nothing. A breeze the riffled the sheet ever so slightly and sent the birds rushing out of their pool in a splash of panic at overhead flapping things. I smiled at their antics. Then something caught my eye. Something  shimmering, sparkling, flashing in the sun. The air was full of flecks of gold, glinting, red and clear, bright and instant. Flash and gone. I watched as this dazzling  show glittered in the light.

It was Chevy's hair.  The last of her winter coat caught in the weave of the sheet and now the shimmer of sorrel sparkled before my eyes as the breeze set it free and the ducks scattered. That something in me that had turned to stone, burst. Oh, god, it hurt and I cried and cried  as the ducks got back in the pool and laundry flapped overhead.

2 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:40 pm

SucellusFarms

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I can't imagine what you've been feeling. There is nothing like a horse's love. So sorry.

http://www.sucellusfarms.ca

3 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:03 am

authenticfarm

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Beautifully written. I know this pain.

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

4 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:08 am

Blue Hill Farm

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So sorry uno...Sad 

Comfort

5 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:10 am

uno

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I wrote about losing my little horse back in May. OF course, the first thing I do when something like that happens is share it with people who also live surrounded by animals. This is not a new story.

When I washed the sheet and the next day all those gold coloured sparkles came floating out, it just reminded me of her. Reminded me how she used to run and leap and buck and kick and pin her ears and fling her head, such a tough horse! Pffft. She was a pet.

It made me cry again because I do miss her and didn't realize quite how much until reminded that once she was here. Alive and full of mischievous energy.

I thought it was a special moment, almost like it wasn't an accident at all, but a reminder from somewhere far off. A gentle reminder to remember a friend.

6 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:16 am

coopslave

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Last edited by coopslave on Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:09 am; edited 1 time in total

7 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:32 am

happychicks

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So beautifully written, Uno. I've been down that road with my little Shetland pony and though it was years ago, your story brings it back. Sometimes sorrow has a "sweet" side as it brings memories back to comfort us.

8 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:40 pm

Fowler

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Grieving isn't over in a month. It is a long process. My Grandmother grieved when my Grandfather passed but she said her hardest time was wrapping Christmas presents many months later (because he had loved Christmas so much). She has passed some years ago now. In the months and years before she left us, we had the smarts to record some of her family stories so they wouldn't be lost. My brother gave me a video he took of him asking her about things. I'm very glad to have it. But I still haven't been able to bring myself to watch it.

9 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:56 pm

SucellusFarms

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I got that, and I'm sure it was your Chevy come to visit. Just was feeling the sweet sorrow of that moment.

http://www.sucellusfarms.ca

10 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:59 am

CynthiaM

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Sigh, yes and those tears fall, for you and others that are so inclined to have this occurrence. Chevy. I have listened to you along your road with this little girl, from long before she was born. That pain, so many of us have been there, with human and animal, it never stops being pain. What a pretty thing, to have seen Chevy's golden gift to you, a farewell, I have looked at it as. Our dear Uno, you know we care, we feel that sadness too, still must wish you a beautiful day, CynthiaM.

11 Re: Untitled visit from a friend on Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:36 am

Pollywog

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Losing a pet is heartbreaking. My childhood dog was put to sleep 11 years ago and I still get chocked up when I think of her. This post was beautifully written. Comfort 

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